Building a climate-driven economic future, from the ground up

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The 2022 election was won on overwhelming demand for urgent climate action, with a big teal wave highlighting citizens’ disregard for vapid net zero pledges and lack of investment in the pathways designed to get us there. to bring. Now, with the progressive side of politics pushing the country forward in both chambers, Australians devastated by the continuing effects of climate change in the form of relentless fires and floods should expect and demand an aggressive approach to the climate agenda.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen is expected to unveil the Albanian government’s climate change bill during the first week of parliamentary sittings at the end of July, underlining the government’s intentions to enshrine in law a target to reduce carbon emissions. 43% by 2030 and net zero by 2050. Minister Bowen’s comments during the National Press Club at the end of June on the next parliamentary session reflected Labor’s pre-election pledges to increase electric vehicle (EV) sales through the removal of tariffs and less reliance on our struggling energy grid screw coal and gas.

But when you look closely at the pre-election climate proposals, this is simply not enough to prevent future ecological disasters. Renewable energy, batteries and electric vehicles alone will not be enough to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. To really give the 2030 and 2050 emissions targets a boost, Australia needs a tangible commitment to low-emission technologies designed to significantly reduce emissions that are not vague or disappointing to plans. of action by other nations after COP26. Essentially, we need to abruptly depart from the current climate agenda and throw everything we have at what is and will be our country’s biggest problem, marking 2022 as the turning point in which climate policy and investment matched the citizens’ feelings.

An economy at the same risk of disaster as our environment

Our economy is focused on digging deep into the ground for fossil fuels, which we consume at a much faster rate than they are formed. One only has to look at the strains on the current electricity grid and the lack of investment in solar and wind power to see how deep our reliance on fossil fuels really runs.

We still don’t have a plan to phase out oil, gas or coal, and we need a quick turnaround in emissions policies to match the strong vote for climate action. Our dependence on a single market destined to shrink under the government’s own model, which halves coal production by mid-century, will be our greatest downfall if we don’t act now.

The fact that the way the Australian economy works now will not be acceptable or even practical in the very near future needs to be addressed. Every week, we observe the rising cost of living, caused by rising interest and inflation rates, the impacts of COVID-19 on the supply chain, and the current crisis in Ukraine. Each subsequent spike in fuel and energy prices stems from restricted access to fossil fuels. At this point, it’s a simple calculation: a natural disaster, human conflict or international dispute causes economic upheaval. So why haven’t we done more to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and non-renewable energy sources, when climate technology and our own backyard are the solution?

When evaluating Australia’s natural habitat and land use, it’s almost criminal that we don’t lead the world in solar, wind and battery storage technology. With such a large proportion of our free and available land exposed to direct sunlight for more than eight hours a day, we have the ability to completely adjust the way energy is obtained and used.

We should already be a global leader in climate technology solutions, and have the means to get there if we can radically shift our course. Australian voters have overwhelmingly shown that climate change is high on their list of priorities, with apprehension and fear of economic change replaced by the sound of a clock ticking rapidly towards a future of environmental catastrophe. With this change in mindset and government, we have the opportunity to make Australia a climate change leader through the transition to a sustainable technology-driven economy.

To achieve this progression over the next decade, the obstacles facing all forms of emerging technology initiatives, including the lack of seed funding, minimal regulatory support, and the reluctance of large companies to partner with companies emerging technologies, must be eliminated.

Implementing change through a collision of ideas

There is a paradox between the intention and then the action or the real impact. To have real impact, we need to invest in a circular economy and shift our mindset from simply reducing waste to supporting new climate initiatives and advances that safeguard our future. All the technological advances in the world will not solve this crisis for us if we are not ready to adapt and adopt.

To facilitate this change, the newly appointed federal government must think about legislation and regulations that create benefits for climate technology. It should be cheaper, not more expensive, to use technology that is better for our ecology and our planet. It’s just not like that right now, with the last election won on fears that a net zero policy would wreak havoc on the economy and employment rates.

We cannot cling to the hope that a huge technological breakthrough that sucks existing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere will take place without establishing the proper ecosystem to facilitate that innovation. Ideas are all around us, but they’re currently in the minds and desktops of Australians in other jobs that pay the bills.

Innovation and progress are collisions of ideas. It brings people together not only from across the country, but from around the world. Bringing together objectives, goals and thinking across a wide range of people will lead to stronger climate outcomes and new opportunities. We must recognize that bringing more technology, more innovation and more thinking into our country is at least as valuable as exporting everything that is underground.

The path to sustainable technological innovation

As Aussies we can afford to do whatever we want, it’s just a matter of choice. We need to find ways to rebuild our economy by not digging things into the ground and pumping carbon into the air, and cannot bow to the financial influence of mining magnates. Ideas are 100% renewable, and we’re not going to run out of ways to change the structure of the Australian economy, but eventually we’ll run out of lithium and coal.

We must seize our renewable energy potential and create sustainable, profitable jobs that put Australia at the forefront of a low-carbon, technology-driven global economy, but only by building the infrastructure and the ecosystem needed to achieve this.

This path does not currently exist and is blocked by naysayers who question the role of technology in our future. We need an established and clear path that allows climate tech companies to finish what they started without falling victim to any of the many obstacles in their path. Now is the time to think about changing the pillars of the economy by creating a path to sustainable technological innovation, before it is too late.


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